Provo in Utah County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The Octogon House
H.L. Southworth received an appointment as Post Master in 1861. The “Octagon” served as Provo’s Post Office until 1863 and again during 1875.
Southworth lost his mercantile store in 1870, when he could not repay Benjamin Bachman, a local merchant, a substantial loan. Their contract stipulated repayment had to be made in wheat. Unfortunately, Southworth had used the “Octagon”
Bachman leased the Octagon to Truman Swarthout. Swarthout ran the “Octagon” as a hotel in 1871-72. Bachman then leased the building to Provo’s first Masonic Lodge: “The Story Lodge”.
In 1876 Lucinda Kempton Southworth invested in a profitable mine in Nevada; mining profits enabled her to buy back the “Octagon” from Bachman. She reentered the mercantile business in 1878. In 1881, Southworth’s advertised in Provo‘s “Territorial Enquirer” saying the “Octagon” had boarding rooms available.
The Southworth’s found yet another use for the building; they relocated their cigar-making factory from their family-owned enterprise, Spanish Fork’s “Castilla Springs Resort” to the “Octagon”.
Henry Larkin Southworth died July 5th, 1901; his funeral was help in the 3rd Ward LDS Building, located directly north of the “Octagon”. In 1926, Southworth’s three surviving heirs deemed the structure unsuitable for modern standards and it was torn down.
Erected 2012 by Daughters of Utah
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 5, 1901.
Location. 40° 14.099′ N, 111° 40.064′ W. Marker is in Provo, Utah, in Utah County. Marker is at the intersection of North 500 West and West 100 North, on the right when traveling south on North 500 West. Marker is on the southwest corner. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Provo UT 84601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Provo's Liberty Bell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brigham Young Academy (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of the Old Provo High School (approx. ¼ mile away); 110-120 West Center (approx. 0.4 miles away); Provo Woolen Mills (approx. 0.4 miles away); 104 West Center (approx. 0.4 miles away); Craghead Field (approx. 0.4 miles away); A Place of Gathering (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Provo.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 28, 2020, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 64 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 28, 2020, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.